Posted May 26th, 2016 by Engineering Strategic Communications

Alumnus leaves landmark $20-million bequest to U of T Engineering

Alumnus Erwin Edward Hart (CivE 4T0) has left a $20-million bequest to U of T Engineering. This landmark gift will support the Percy Edward Hart and Erwin Edward Hart Professorships to bolster early-career research and graduate student mentorship. (Illustration: Andrea M. Listro).

Alumnus Erwin Edward Hart (CivE 4T0) has left a $20-million bequest to U of T Engineering. This landmark gift will support the Percy Edward Hart and Erwin Edward Hart Professorships to bolster early-career research and graduate student mentorship. (Illustration: Andrea M. Listro)

A historic $20-million bequest from the estate of alumnus Erwin Edward Hart (CivE 4T0) will drive engineering forward by supporting emerging research and education at the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering and providing enhanced opportunities for graduate students.

The income from the Hart Trust will fund the Percy Edward Hart and Erwin Edward Hart Professorships. Seven faculty members, each within the first 10 years of his/her academic career, will receive $75,000 per year for three years for research and graduate student support. The recipients will be nominated by their department or institute and will have demonstrated a high level of research excellence and exemplary graduate mentorship.

Erwin Edward Hart, was a long-time employee of Massey-Ferguson Ltd. and served as the company’s chief welding engineer. The professorships are named in honour of Hart and his late father, Percy Edward Hart.

“The Hart Professorships are an outstanding example of the impact that can be made when visionary generosity meets visionary leadership,” said University of Toronto President Meric Gertler. “Mr. Hart’s legacy gift will bolster the work of promising researchers at a crucial stage in their careers.”

The professorships will foster the next generation of engineering research leaders and educators, and strengthen the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering’s position as one of the world’s great engineering schools.

“Investments in early-career faculty will accelerate research and innovation,” said Dean Cristina Amon of Applied Science & Engineering. “This gift will support generations of professors and deepen our Faculty’s culture of research and teaching excellence. It will also strengthen the Faculty’s ability to recruit top early-career educators and researchers from around the world. Our students will benefit by working with faculty members who are committed to mentoring the next generation of innovators.”

The terms of the Hart Trust have enabled Faculty leaders to carry out Mr. Hart’s intentions in a way that supports the Faculty’s strategic priorities and addresses its evolving needs. Flexible gifts are one of the most effective ways to make a lasting impact and help U of T Engineering further its vision.

This bequest contributes to U of T Engineering’s $200-million fundraising goal as part of Boundless: The Campaign for the University of Toronto. To date, the Faculty has raised more than $180 million.

The first cohort of Hart Professors will begin in September 2016, and will represent the following departments and institutes:

U of T Engineering is the premier engineering school in Canada and one of the world’s best. Founded in 1873, the Faculty prepares the next generation of global engineering leaders and advances solutions to critical world challenges through experiential learning, cross-disciplinary collaboration and ground-breaking innovations that push boundaries and improve people’s lives.

Learn more about how you can contribute to U of T Engineering.